Worship is Universal

One of my favorite things is to worship in different cultures. It’s amazing to me how you can be in OKC, Oklahoma, or Rwanda, Africa, or Uganda, or Cambodia or anywhere around the world, and you can find Christians gathering and worshipping. There is nothing like it. The first time i ever experienced it over seas, i just stood there and cried, because it became so real to me that people are serving and worship Jesus everywhere, and its in that worship experience that you truly connect as family. You realize these are my brothers and sisters, this is our Family, Jesus is our brother and God is our Father and we are one! That is the power of Unity, its the power of Family, its the power of the Local church, its the power of Christianity. The worship experience is one of the most compelling experiences in humanity, never be afraid to bring your friends or acquaintances or even strangers into your worship experience, there is something about it that supersedes mere human inhibitions, its a true picture of Gods people lifting up their creator, their savior, their king. Here is a small sampling of our team worshipping with the orphans in the Hope center in Kampong Thom Cambodia. Pastor Sochan, runs several kids programs, where he teaches them english, bible, and worship, and he feeds them, over 500 a week. Sounds like God to me.

Helping Single moms and Widows…

Today on our Edmond Campus we were able to help single moms and Widows with car care. Here were the results.

There were 40 volunteers, 33 cars in 6 hours, 22 scheduled, and 11 drive ups.

We changed the oil, oil filter and air filter on all the cars. We checked the tire pressure and all fluid levels. Then they were treated to a full cleaning inside and outside. This cleaning included Armor All on the dash, vacuuming, scrubbing the wheels and tires, a free air freshener and bottled water. While the ladies waited, their children played in our fun park and the ladies enjoyed free coffee, water and candy in our lobby. Several ladies were overwhelmed that we would help them in this way.

We replaced the wiper blades on one care and the lady almost started crying.
We replaced the belt on another, because it had almost dry rotted through and she could not believe it.
One car the transmission fluid would not register on the dip stick. On another, only 1 quart of oil came out of a 5 quart motor when we drained the oil. Several ladies had almost no brake fluid in their master cylinder.
Multiple ladies said they needed an oil change so bad and didn’t know how they were going to pay for it. Our volunteers were amazing. They faced constant rain and cold temperatures and would have stayed all day if they needed to.

This was a comment from one of the ladies.

“Thank you guys for this incredible blessing. I was needing an oil change pretty badly and was wondering how I was going to be able to afford it. You were an answer to my prayers. Im extremely greatful. Thank you for being the hands of Jesus.”

Servolution Day 5…Acting like Jesus

Yesterday Morning, it was freezing! Very little wind, but a great time to serve the college students of our community. We took 8-10 volunteers and a ton of food. Pop Tarts, granola bars, G2, bottled water, Starbucks coffee, and we set up two stations so when students were on their way to class they could pick up a quick breakfast free.

It was so fun to do this. We had a lot of great interactions. It is such a blessing to watch the response of people when you just serve them with no catch. When you want no donations, your not making some kind of presentation, you’re not trying to get them into something, you are just serving them and giving them stuff for free, it blows them away.

Wasn’t long before word got a around and students, teachers, were coming from all over the campus to get some food and beverages. I heard them talking, and everyone was thanking us and asking us why we were doing this. Some people in the administration want us to come back.

The same thing happened today, when we created hospitality for families waiting in the surgical waiting room at the local hospital. So many times when you see people who are stressed and anxious you want to help, but you don’t know what to say, or do. The one thing we could do was serve them. I talked to the chaplain of the hospital, and he said that when we serve them and give food to them, it gives them a moments peace, and gives them a feeling of hope.

Last two days have been great.

When we serve people, when we care enough to do something for them just to be a blessing in their lives, then we are acting like Jesus.

We have had many partners in these projects and are looking for more. We know that if we can get together with others we can truly make a difference in our world!

1…2…3…Do the servolution with me

What a great concept. You have to love Dino Rizzo, Pastor of Healing Place in Baton Rouge, LA. This guy and his whole team are remarkable, and inspiring. They have become the personification of community involvement.

Harvest on all of its campuses, Okc, MWC, STW, EDM, check out http://www.harvestokc.com to find out more, are joining with Healing place and over 300 churches representing hundreds of thousands of people for 7 days of Servolution. The term Servolution was coined by Dino and is the name of his upcoming book. It means a revolution of service.

We believe that the church can speak about the love of Jesus, but then must also take the responsibility to share the love of Jesus in practical ways. Serving others, not for personal gain, not for what we get back, but just the opposite serve to show the love of Jesus. Isn’t this what Jesus did, when he walked the earth. He cared for people in practical ways, He brought solutions to problems, he was lead by compassion. We see it even in the last supper, when He, knowing that the disciples would run, knowing that Judas would betray Him, and Peter would deny Him.

He put a towel around his waste and filled a basin with water, and served them by washing their feet. He did this for two reasons one, for the act itself, two to be a model of what Christianity is all about, sharing His love by serving others. Dino said something that stirred me, Jesus reached us to reach past us.

If you are a part of harvest, don’t hesitate to get signed up for as many of these seven days of servolution events that you can. Lets show the world that no matter what is going on, there is hope because the love of Jesus is in us.

Do the servolution with Me

Care enough to share

Isn’t it interesting, Jesus began his ministry by relationship building? He developed relationship with twelve men from all different walks of life and for three and a half years shared His life with them.

When something great happens in our lives, we want to tell everyone about it. When we graduate, get married, or have a baby we send out announcements, so everyone will know. What could be more wonderful than having a relationship with Jesus? He has freed us from our sins, He heals our bodies, He restores our souls, and although He is the God of the universe He takes great pleasure in being personally involved in our lives.

We want to share these great things with others. Some of the most rewarding relationships Janae and I have ever had have been when we decided to make a conscious effort to help lead another family to a higher level of living in Christ. It’s awesome to see people grow; it’s incredible to help them overcome problems and watch God work in their lives. This is what a relationship with Christ and His church does in people’s lives it turns them around. Yes, it takes work, and is sometimes inconvenient, but it’s the way Jesus has seen fit to perpetuate the Gospel. He designed it to reproduce through relationship.

It’s a biblical pattern. I don’t really want to use the word mentor, because it sounds so formal, it’s really just purposed friendship. Look at many of the great people of the Bible and you’ll see it. Abraham befriended Lot his nephew. Moses Befriended Joshua and led him to leadership. Jonathan, King Saul’s son befriended David and made way for his destiny to be fulfilled, while sacrificing himself. David had a host of misfit “mighty men” that he befriended and changed their lives forever. Elijah Befriended Elisha. Eli raised Samuel. Jesus had a close friendship with the twelve disciples. Barnabus befriended Paul, and John Mark who wrote the Gospel of Mark. Paul befriended Timothy, Silas, Titus, Philemon, Aquila and Priscilla, and many others. It all comes down to one question. Do we care enough, to get out of our comfort Zone, to think beyond our immediate family, to be inconvenienced, or to realize there are people who need us?

Do you think that Barnabus knew what Paul would become to the church and the Christian movement? I don’t think he did. I think he just genuinely cared about this outcast individual. Do you think that Paul had some kind of Guarantee that Timothy would turn out to be such a force in the New Testament church. I think he hoped he would, but there are no guarantees. I believe that Paul genuinely cared about Timothy. Jesus knew that Judas would betray him; He knew that peter would deny him; He knew that all the disciples would run, in His greatest moment of trial, but he genuinely cared for them anyway.

Caring moves us to action. It causes us to go outside the norm. Do we care? Do we care for the child who has no defender, who is being treated unjustly? Yes, We do. That’s why we are doing the Royal family Kids camp, for Foster Kids and abused kids. Do we care for Young women who are at a disadvantage in life because of whatever set of circumstances? Yes we do that’s why we have “Rescue the girls” ministry. Do we care for men who have gone to prison, and because of outreach been saved there, and need help assimilating back into society, and need discipleship. Yes we do, that’s why men in our church are partnering with a local organization to mentor ex-prisoners. Do we care for underprivileged kids around the globe, yes that is why we have major initiatives in Fortaleza Brazil through compassion international and involved with the Hope RWANDA, and 08 missions includes partnering with Watoto in Uganda, and Hagar House in Cambodia. We have Youth America summer camps every year because we care for the teenagers of this nation.

The question is do we care for our neighbor across the street? Do we care for our coworkers? Do we care for that family member that’s lost? Do we care enough that we’ll contend with awkwardness in order to reach them? Do we care about that person at church that may set down the row from us, who are on the fringe and need help growing spiritually? I believe we do.

Let this blog today become an action plan for our lives, to consciously care for other people. Let’s go beyond the extra mile. If we care enough we’ll do it. So, this week begin a relationship and show someone how much you care.

-David Gadberry